I’m not a smoky tea fan. I haven’t had a lot, and my first experience with a smoky tea was a very strong Lapsang Souchong with my grandmother. I still remember the scent, and the horror, to this day. It was with trepidation that I approached Caravan. This is the first of my Christmas teas to be opened, and I decided I should have it first—a sort of “suck it up, buttercup” moment.
On opening the tin I was assailed by the strong smoky aroma of the lapsang souchong in it. Not just smoky, but meat-smoky. Like smoked bacon. I don’t eat bacon. It isn’t my favorite smell. I had my doubts, given how overwhelmingly smoky the tea smelled. But I soldiered on, undeterred. On pouring the cup, I had my doubts again. The smoky smell was still readily apparent, if not as in-your-face as in the dry mix.
The taste? Lightly smoky, not nearly what I was expecting. Not quite as smooth as others have commented, it seemed a bit harsh, but the harshness fit the tea. It isn’t my favorite Andrews and Dunham, but it isn’t bad. I’m definitely going to have more, and I’m on my way now to have a second steep. I just have to get over the smoked bacon smell.